AfDB approves $11m budget allocation to improve fertilizer financing for smallholder farmers
May 23, 2023207 views0 comments
By Cynthia Ezekwe
The board of directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $11.7 million budgetary allocation to the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) for its 2023 operations, to improve fertilizer production/supply, and facilitate access to inputs and technical assistance for smallholder farmers.
According to a statement obtained from AfDB, the approval included $16.4 million extended to the facility to support its 2023 budget and $4.7 million, which was carried over from the previous year, to strengthen the fertilizer sector through access to finance, supporting the development of sustainable policy reforms.
The statement noted that AFFM also plans to continue implementing three commercial credit guarantee projects amounting to $8.3 million whose recipient countries are Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana.
The AfDB added that the 2023 projects would be implemented to support the second pillar of the bank’s African emergency food production facility, which was launched to avert a looming food crisis in Africa following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“AFFM will actively work with African countries and other key stakeholders to develop the national food and agriculture pacts that the continent’s leaders presented at the Feed Africa Summit in Dakar in January 2023,’’ the statement noted.
Additionally, the AFFM would facilitate smallholder farmers’ access to inputs and extension services through credit guarantee projects and capacity building for farmers and input distributors.
It will also conduct an in-depth analysis of fertilizer policy in at least ten African countries, which will map the current situation, identify gaps and prepare an action plan. The aim is to support policy orientations that will address the identified shortcomings.
The African Fertiliser Financing Mechanism is a special fund that aims to improve agricultural productivity by providing the necessary financing to boost fertilizer use in Africa and achieve the 50 kilograms of nutrients per hectare target. It was established by the African Union in Abuja in 2006, hosted and managed by the AfDB.